This e-book resource will provide you with information about testing, dual enrollment, transcripts, and more! In addition, you will find tips from the author and advice to help guide you in this endeavor. Check out the sections that interest you the most. If you have any questions that are not answered in this publication, please contact us and we will research a solution.
When planning your child’s high school curriculum, you have the freedom to choose the classes that your high school students will take that best prepare them for life after graduation. Each state has academic suggestions for graduation and umbrella organizations may have specific requirements but, as the parent, you have the freedom to make final decisions.
Students can begin taking dual enrollment with us in 10th grade. Juniors and seniors can earn up to 30 hours with Bryan College for less than $300 (plus books/fees). Out-of-state students receive a $200 scholarship per class. Write to our dual enrollment department at email@example.com to request more information.
CLEP testing provides the opportunity to earn college credit through examinations. These tests do not provide high school credit because coursework is not required; however, the student studies information related to the subject, pays a fee to take a test, and then receives college credit for passing the test. Testing fees may vary based on the administration fee charged by the testing center. The College Board regulates these tests, and students are allowed 90 minutes per test. The potential benefits of earning CLEP credits are financial savings, early graduation, saved time, and the possibility of multiple degrees in a less amount of time. Some students prefer to CLEP out of subjects required, but not desired, so they can, instead, take classes they will enjoy more fully. CLEP tests accepted vary by college, so it is important to research the accepted tests at the college(s) of interest. More information about CLEP testing is available on the College Board website. Take a look at Bryan College’s catalog to find out which CLEPs Bryan College accepts.
Good news! Students in the United States now have the option to take a CLEP exam at home with remote proctoring.
Most colleges require a high school transcript for admission. If you are registered under an umbrella organization, then more than likely they will provide you with a transcript. However, you may need to put together your own transcript. Most colleges are concerned with the total credits earned and the student’s GPA. In addition, if dual enrollment courses were taken through a college or university, most college admissions offices will require official transcripts from the school awarding the college credit. You should contact the Registrar’s office at the college granting credit to request an official transcript be sent to the admissions office. Colleges rarely require a printed diploma. Most colleges require a transcript and test scores.
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Nearly every college and university requires applicants to submit scores from at least one college entrance exam. These tests are designed to assess a student’s skills and evaluate college readiness. The most commonly required tests are the ACT and SAT; however, there is a new college entrance exam that is becoming more widely accepted called the Classic Learning Test or CLT. Bryan College superscores the ACT and the SAT.
The SAT college exam includes a Reading Test, a Writing and Language Test, and a Math Test. It also has an optional essay component (additional fee required). The SAT was recently updated. The new and old SATs are compared in the chart below:
The ACT is comprised of four subject area tests: English, math, reading, and science. A student is scored from 1 – 36 on each of the four tests. These four scores are then averaged to produce the student’s Composite ACT score. There is an additional Writing Test option that requires the student to write an essay. This portion of the ACT is optional but may be required by specific schools.
The PSAT is designed to be taken before the SAT and/or ACT. Students who complete the PSAT in their junior year are automatically screened for National Merit® Scholarship Program (NMS). This is a very affordable opportunity for students to gain exposure to standardized testing. Ninth and tenth-grade students can take the PSAT, but the score that earns National Merit Scholarships is the score earned by juniors. Research has shown that a student’s scores typically improve the more familiar and experienced a student becomes with testing; however, students are only permitted to take the PSAT three times. The PSAT is offered in October and students should locate a site where they can take this test in August or September because test booklets may be limited. A homeschooled student can take the PSAT at any public or private school location as long as the school allows participation.
The Classic Learning Test (CLT) is a relatively new college test option. More than 200 colleges have adopted the CLT across the United States, including Bryan College. The mission of the CLT is to reconnect intellectual pursuit and virtue, and it is the only college entrance exam offered virtually at this time. This is an online test comprising 120 questions. As with other college entrance exams, there is a practice test available on the CLT website to help students prepare. One of the advantages of this test is that students are allowed to sign-up for the test on a date much closer to the actual test, without penalty, as compared to the ACT and SAT. Students should plan to take the CLT during their junior year or at the beginning of their senior year. The CLT10 comes with scholarship potential for tenth grade students and is offered several times a year.
Deciding which test or tests your student should take can be a difficult task. Some students do much better on one test as compared to the other. The writing portion is now optional on both the ACT and the SAT at an additional expense. If you know your student is going to a particular college, College Entrance Exams 17 find out if that college requires the writing portion or if the score from the writing portion may make a difference in acceptance when there are limited spots open to new students.
Some parents prefer to have their students take the additional writing portion in order for the student to gain more experience. That is a decision for you to make. You will also need to decide if you want to have your student’s scores sent directly to any colleges. Identifying your student’s top colleges and having test scores sent directly can save time and money. The first time you send a score to a college (requesting this option at the time you are signing up for the test), you have used the opportunity to have scores sent to this college for free. The next time it will cost $12.
Many colleges superscore. Super scoring is taking the highest scores from subjects of one particular exam that has been taken multiple times. Bryan College now superscores both the ACT and the SAT.
The sticker price of a college education can often be shocking, but in reality, students rarely pay the sticker price. On the other hand, knowing the sticker price helps one compare the cost of a college education at various colleges. Financial aid and scholarships are available to help manage the costs of college.
There are several ways for a student to receive financial aid. Scholarships are financial awards that are often applied directly to a student’s tuition or educational expenses. Although some outside scholarships may be presented as a check, these funds are typically submitted directly to the school to be applied to a student’s direct educational expenses. Most colleges offer a variety of scholarships unique to their institution, so be sure you make an appointment with a financial aid counselor at the colleges that your student is considering attending. There are various types of scholarships that are available to help manage college costs!
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is the document that determines nearly all financial aid a student is qualified to receive. Every college-bound student (and parents of the student) should fill out the FAFSA, even if the student does not plan to receive Federal aid. Colleges often use the information provided by the FAFSA to help determine institutional scholarship amounts. The FAFSA website states: “Federal Student Aid is responsible for managing the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. These programs provide grants, loans, and work-study funds to students attending college or career school.” FAFSA now allows students and parents to complete the application in October of the senior year (previously this was done in January of the senior year). Some scholarships and grants from federal, state, institutional, and private sources may have deadlines or be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Therefore, it is best to apply for financial aid as soon as possible for maximum aid consideration. When filling out the FAFSA, be sure to visit the official site.
In order to fill out the FAFSA, you must first create an FSA ID. In the past, a PIN was required, but now it is an ID. The FSA ID can be requested at any time. There have been recent changes to the FAFSA that are noted in the document below.
The government awards scholarships, grants, and loans based on the information provided by FAFSA. Not all colleges accept government aid, so be sure you find out if a college of interest accepts government aid if you are counting on that for your student.
Many states offer scholarships for students who attend college in-state. These scholarships are often tied to GPAs, test scores, community service, and more. State scholarships and grants vary widely. In Tennessee, grants are offered to students who have been a resident of Tennessee for at least one year.
There are numerous scholarships offered by private organizations all over the country in amounts ranging from small to large. Some colleges may provide a list of outside scholarship opportunities, but most likely these scholarships will be found through research and referrals.
Many employers offer scholarships to their employees. If your student plans to work while in high school it may be beneficial to look for companies that offer college tuition benefits to their employees.
College-specific scholarships will vary widely with each institution.
Most colleges recruit student-athletes and offer scholarships as incentives to play a sport for the school. Obtaining an athletic scholarship in college is hard work and very competitive. Student-athletes interested in playing a sport are encouraged to reach out to coaches in the summer or fall of their junior year and find out what that coach is looking for. This will allow plenty of time to visit the campus, attend any camps and allow the coach to come and see them play when possible.
Once a student has an idea of which colleges he would like to attend he should express interest in those colleges. Most colleges have an online form to request additional information about the school! This will put the student into the school’s system so that he can be assigned an admissions counselor and be kept up-to-date with what is going on at each college in regard to events, scholarships, fee waivers, incentives, and more.
The earlier a student applies to a college “after completion of the junior year” the better his chances are for receiving scholarship awards that are limited in amounts. Most colleges require an application fee, and those fees can mount up if a student is applying to multiple colleges. There are often times throughout the year when application fees are waived. If a student is in the college’s system, they may receive emails or print mailings that provide fee waiver codes or instructions. Many colleges have online applications, but paper applications may be available as well. The most common information required for completing a college application are biographic information, self-reported high school GPA, extracurricular activities, self-reported entrance test scores, and major of interests. Most colleges will require the student to submit official high school transcripts, entrance test official scores, reference letters or contact information, and an essay. Some colleges require an interview that can be completed either over the phone or during a campus visit. Portfolios and resumes are not typically required for college admission; however, compiling an impressive portfolio or resume may help the student stand out amongst other applicants. Extracurricular activities, community involvement, or ministry experience may also lead to additional scholarship opportunities.
The criteria for acceptance at each college can vary widely, so it is important to research entrance requirements and ask questions. Students and parents should build a relationship with the admissions counselor and schedule meetings with key departments like financial aid.
When the time comes to choose a college, the choices can certainly be overwhelming. The following list offers ideas on what to consider when choosing a college. When selecting colleges to apply to, these questions may also help narrow down the options. These are just suggestions and do not constitute a full list of considerations.
Size – Does the student want to attend a small, medium-sized, or large college?
Location – Does the student want to stay in-state, move out-of-state, or stay within a certain distance of home?
Rural, urban, or suburban – Does the student have a preference?
Weather – Does it matter if the college experiences extreme weather conditions?
Christian or secular – Does the college teach classes from a biblical perspective?
Dorms – What is the setup of the dorm: number of roommates, bathrooms, and community spaces?
Food – Are there meal options, and if the student has food restrictions will those restrictions be accommodated?
Tutoring – Does the college offer tutoring for students needing help with classes, writing, assignments, and testing?
Majors – Does the college offer the student’s desired major and/or minor?
Faculty-to-student ratio – Does class size matter to the student?
Success rate – What percentages of students graduate and how many are successfully employed in their field of interest, and/or accepted into higher degree programs after graduation?
Athletics – Does the college offer scholarships to athletics and can multiple scholarships stack? Are there any opportunities for participating in a club or intramural sports?
Scholarships – Are scholarships offered that fit the student’s academic excellence, talents, and abilities?
Scholarship events – Does the college offer scholarship events to high school seniors that award additional funds?
Cost – Are the fees affordable after scholarships are taken into consideration?
Community involvement – Are there opportunities for students to be involved in the community?
Chapel – If Christian, does the college offer chapel, and, if so, how often and is it required?
Ministry opportunities – Does the college arrange opportunities for ministry?
Study abroad and International Outreach – Does the college offer study abroad and/or international service or internship programs?
Work study – Does the college offer work opportunities for students with financial needs?
References and referrals – Does the student know anyone personally who has attended the college so that feedback can be shared?
Uniqueness – Is there anything unique to the college the student is considering?
Counsel – What do those who know the student well (family and friends) think about the colleges being considered?
Discuss course credits to include in the high school years.
Begin helping your student discover their gifts and talents.
Look for local opportunities to take practice tests. Consider participating in TeenPact.
Consider any items listed under 9th grade that have not been completed.
Consider any items listed under 10th grade that have not been completed.
September: Discover opportunities for taking the PSAT in October and register for the exam.
October: Participate in the PSAT testing to qualify for National Merit Scholarships.
Plan classes according to academic needs, talents and interests, and opportunities.
The preparation for the journey from high school to college admission can be daunting. Hopefully, this has provided some guidance to help you navigate the steps to college admission. While it is important to start early, the timeline provided here is flexible and the recommendations can be applied no matter what year your student is in.
Pat Wesolowski is an author, speaker, and homeschooling mother of 9 who is now the Homeschool Admissions Counselor at Bryan College. After homeschooling her 9 children for the past 32 years, she is finally finished! Pat has a heart for helping parents find joy in their homeschooling experience and, for that reason, loves teaching workshops in order to encourage and equip parents for a fun and successful homeschool experience. Pat is the host of a podcast entitled “The Homeschool Specialist,” writes a blog, and has a Facebook page for Bryan College Homeschool Admissions. Four of Pat’s children attended Bryan College.
If you would like to be added to Pat’s email contact list, send her an email and let her know in which state you live.
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